Ash-e Anar

an iranian pomegranate, herb & lentil soup with meatballs – although the meatballs are optional!

ingredients
1/2 pound ground beef
1 Small onion, grated
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 cups water
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup rice
1 cup spinach chopped
1 cup parsley chopped
1/2 cup onions chopped
1 1/2 cup Pomegranate seeds or 1 cup Pomegranate juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Lime juice (optional)

Spice For Soup
1 tablespoon mint dried
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pepper

method
Put the meat in a bowl. Add grated onions and seasoning and mix well.
Make meat balls the size of walnuts.

Put water in a 3 qt pot. Add salt and rice and let cook for 15 minutes.
Add vegetables and let cook for another 15 minutes.
Cut fresh pomegranate and take out the seeds to make about 1 1/2 cups.
Add meat balls, pomegranate seeds, and sugar to the soup and let cook for another 20 minutes on a low fire or until the meat is done.

Rub dried mint in the palm of your hands to make it powdery.
Add cinnamon and pepper to the mint.
Add this to the soup just before removing it from the fire.
Taste soup, and if needed add more salt and lime juice for the right flavoring.
If the pomegranate is sweet it will require lime juice.
Garnish with some pomegranate seeds and fresh herbs.

Meatballs are optional.

Serves 5

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